Tuesday, April 08, 2014

April 8 - Watch Your Life

Today's Reading:
Ezra 8:21-9:15
1 Timothy 4:1-16
Psalm 119:73-80
Click on Text Link to Read Online

Focus Verses:
1 Timothy 4:12-16

12 Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you. 15 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.

Though Timothy was a young Christian leader, Paul told him he could avoid being dismissed for his youth. He could do this by being a shining example in the way he lived out his faith. No one would look down on him, Paul said, if he were living up to Christ's call for his life. Timothy could win the respect of everyone, even those older than him, if his life—speech, love, purity—were shaped by his faith in Jesus.

Paul reminded Timothy that the church elders had publicly recognized his gift for leadership and ministry by laying their hands on him. Their endorsement and support should be taken very seriously, and he should be diligent to make progress in his spiritual growth and the exercise of his gifts. Timothy's diligence toward maturity should include the study of scripture, careful self-examination of his lifestyle, and careful attention to sound doctrine. Paul promised that perseverance in these matters would result in blessing, both in his own life and in the lives of those to whom he ministered.

Response and Action:
I want to mature in my faith as I follow and serve Christ. I will do my best to lead an exemplary life in my speech, in my commitment to holiness, in my study of scripture, and in the exercise of my gifts. I believe that diligence in these things will result in blessing to me and to people around me. I also want to do all I can to encourage the young Christian leaders in my church and my circle of influence. I want to help them and spur them on to become all they can be.

By the power and grace of your Holy Spirit, O God, lead, teach, transform, shape, and strengthen me, that I might delight in your will and walk in your ways to the glory of your name. Help me to be a good steward of all you have given me. Grant me the wisdom and the will to guard my heart, feed my spirit, stimulate my mind, and care for my body. Help me to do the good things you've prepared for me to do. Through Christ, I pray. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses: 
Hebrews 6:11-12
11 We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. 12 We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.

Basic Christian Leadership: Biblical Models of Church, Gospel And Ministry
by John Stott

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